Watsco Operating Profit Jumps 19% During First Quarter

Watsco, Inc. (NYSE:WSO)(PARIS:WSO)today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Earnings per share (adjusted for acquisition-related expenses in 2012) increased 14% to 24 cents per diluted share (23 cents on a GAAP basis). Net income increased 13% to $8.5 million versus $7.5 million last year. Operating income improved 19% to $20 million with an operating margin of 3.2%. On a same-store basis, operating income increased 7% to $18 million with an operating margin of 3.1%.

Revenues grew 19% to a record $634 million and increased 7% on a same-store basis, reflecting 12% growth in sales of air conditioning and heating (HVAC) equipment (60% of sales), a 1% decline in sales of other HVAC products (34% of sales) and an 11% increase in sales of commercial refrigeration products (6% of sales).

Gross profit increased 12% to a record $151 million with a gross profit margin of 23.8%. On a same-store basis, gross profit increased 1% with gross profit margin declining 140 basis-points to 23.9%, reflecting the stronger sales mix of HVAC equipment, which generate lower margins than non-equipment products, and the timing of inventory purchases, which had a consequential impact on vendor discounts and rebates. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased 11% to $131 million and as a percentage of sales declined 150 basis-points to 20.6%. Excluding new locations, SG&A was flat on a year over year basis at $118 million.

It is important to note that the first quarter of each calendar year is the seasonal low point for sales and profits due to the magnitude of the replacement market for air conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems during the second and third quarters of each calendar year. Accordingly, the Company's first quarter financial results are disproportionately affected by this seasonality and the overall general economic conditions.

Albert Nahmad, Watsco’s President & Chief Executive Officer stated: “Watsco achieved strong sales and earnings growth during the quarter and I am especially proud of the share gains that our team was able to accomplish. We performed well in all areas of the HVAC equipment market from residential unitary through commercial. This performance was a result of our people working hard to provide a great customer experience for our contractors, which we will continue to enhance and improve in the months and years ahead.”

Mr. Nahmad added: “We are focused on our basic fundamentals as we head into the summer selling season – gaining share for our supplier partners, improving operating efficiency and having the inventories and people in place to best serve our contractor customers.”

The Company generated operating cash flow of $9 million during the quarter versus a cash flow use of $45 million in 2011, a positive cash flow swing of $54 million. The Company expects to meet or exceed its annual target of generating cash flow greater than net income in 2012. Since 2000, operating cash flow was approximately $900 million compared to net income of approximately $750 million, far surpassing the Company’s stated goal. At March 31, 2012, cash and cash equivalents were $18 million and borrowings were $43 million.

Dividends paid during the quarter increased 21% to $20 million. In January 2012, the Company raised its quarterly dividend rate 9% to 62 cents per share. Watsco has paid dividends for more than 38 consecutive years and 2012 will mark the eleventh year of paying increasing dividends.

Outlook for 2012

Watsco’s outlook for 2012 diluted earnings per share is within the range of $3.25 to $3.40 per diluted share, representing a prospective growth rate of 19% to 24% over 2011’s results.

Conference Call

Watsco is hosting a conference call at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on April 30, 2012 to discuss its first quarter results. The conference call will be web-cast by CCBN's StreetEvents at http://www.watsco.com. A replay of the conference call will be available on the Company's website. For those unable to connect to the webcast, you may listen via telephone. The dial-in number for callers in the United States is (866) 740-9405; the dial-in number for callers outside of the United States is (702) 696-4900.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information

In this release, the Company discloses non-GAAP measures of same-store sales and adjusted diluted earnings per share. Information referring to “same-store basis” excludes the effects of locations acquired or locations opened or closed during the immediately preceding 12 months unless they are within close geographical proximity to existing locations. A reconciliation of adjusted diluted earnings per share to diluted earnings per share appears in the pages that follow. The Company believes that this information provides greater comparability regarding its ongoing operating performance. These measures should not be considered an alternative to measurements required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP).

About Watsco, Inc.

Watsco improves indoor living and working environments with air conditioning and heating solutions that provide comfort regardless of the outdoor climate. Our solutions also promote healthier indoor spaces by removing pollutants from the indoor air that can lead to asthma, allergies and reductions in productivity. Furthermore, since heating and cooling accounts for approximately 56% of the energy consumed in a typical United States home, we offer consumers the greatest opportunity to save money on energy by replacing existing air conditioning and heating systems with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

There are approximately 89 million central air conditioning and heating systems installed in the United States that have been in service for more than 10 years. Older systems often operate below today’s government mandated energy efficiency and environmental standards. Watsco has an opportunity to accelerate the replacement of these systems at a scale greater than our competitors as the movement toward reducing energy consumption and its environmental impact continues. We operate from more than 575 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, with additional market coverage on an export basis to Latin America and the Caribbean. As the industry leader, significant growth potential remains given that our current revenue run-rate is less than 10% of the estimated $35 billion marketplace in the Americas for HVAC/R products. Additional information about Watsco may be found at http://www.watsco.com.

This document includes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations due to changes in economic, business, competitive market, new housing starts and completions, capital spending in commercial construction, consumer spending and debt levels, regulatory and other factors, including, without limitation, the effects of supplier concentration, competitive conditions within Watsco’s industry, seasonal nature of sales of Watsco’s products, the ability of the Company to expand its business, insurance coverage risks and final GAAP adjustments. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made. Watsco assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. Detailed information about these factors and additional important factors can be found in the documents that Watsco files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
Consolidated Results of Operations
(In thousands, except per share data)
  Quarter Ended March 31,
2012   2011
Revenues $ 633,512 $ 534,339
Cost of sales   482,890     399,353  
Gross profit 150,622 134,986
Gross profit margin   23.8 %   25.3 %
SG&A expenses   130,713     118,276  
Operating income 19,909 16,710
Operating margin   3.2 %   3.2 %
Interest expense, net   888     822  
Income before income taxes 19,021 15,888
Income taxes   5,529     4,766  
Net income 13,492 11,122
Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interest   5,026     3,622  
Net income attributable to Watsco, Inc. $ 8,466   $ 7,500  
Diluted earnings per share:
Net income attributable to Watsco, Inc. shareholders $ 8,466 $ 7,500
Less: distributed and undistributed earnings allocated to non-
vested (restricted) common stock   1,408     1,152  
Earnings allocated to Watsco, Inc. shareholders $ 7,058   $ 6,348  
Weighted-average Common and Class B common shares and equivalent
shares used to calculate diluted earnings per share 30,834,468 30,694,352
Diluted earnings per share for Common and Class B common stock $ 0.23   $ 0.21  
Reconciliation of GAAP Financial Results to Non-GAAP Measures
Quarter Ended March 31,
2012   2011
Diluted earnings per share (GAAP) $0.23 $0.21
Effect of acquisition-related transaction costs in 2012 0.01 -
Diluted earnings per share adjusted (Non-GAAP) $0.24 $0.21
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands)

  March 31,   December 31,
  2012   2011
Cash and cash equivalents $ 18,057 $ 15,673
Accounts receivable, net 339,378 327,664
Inventories 532,432 465,349
Other   21,095   19,491
Total current assets 910,962 828,177
Property and equipment, net 40,727 39,455
Goodwill, intangibles, net and other   398,924   400,516
Total assets $ 1,350,613 $ 1,268,148
Accounts payable and accrued expenses $ 264,823 $ 203,020
Borrowings under revolving credit agreements 42,500 20,000
Current portion of long-term obligations   16   19
Total current liabilities 307,339 223,039
Deferred income taxes and other liabilities   43,315   43,399
Total liabilities   350,654   266,438
Watsco's shareholders’ equity 796,013 802,790
Noncontrolling interest   203,946   198,920
Shareholders’ equity   999,959   1,001,710
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 1,350,613 $ 1,268,148

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